Saffron + Mixed Vegetable Risotto

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I love, love, love risotto.   We make it on all special occasions, including valentine's day so for me, it must be served with champagne.  It's so satisfying I don't need any appetizers or side salads or anything.  (Maybe just dessert!)  

Makes 2-3 servings.

Saffron Risotto with Vegetables + Sausage

4 cups vegetable stock

10 asparagus spears, chopped

4 oz green beans, chopped

8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, diced

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

1 scant teaspoon saffron threads 

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup grated asiago cheese

1 fresno chile, seeded, diced

2 link precooked sausage, sliced (I suggest applegate's fire roasted red pepper poultry sausage)

s + p

Blanche asparagus and green beans in boiling water for 60 seconds.  Drain and place in ice bath to shock the vegetables.  Set aside.  (Separately reserve asparagus tips for garnishing if you like.)

Saute mushrooms in a small splash of olive oil for 3 minutes.  Set aside with vegetables. 

In a large pan, melt butter.  Add onion and saute 5 minutes.  Add rice, stir to coat in rice, cook 1 minute.  Add wine and cook until evaporated.  Stir in saffron.  Begin adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time.  Stirring constantly until each 1/2 cup has evaporated.  Then add another cup, stir, evaporate, repeat.  Continue until there is no more stock and rice is soft.  This should take about 20 minutes.   

Stir in cheese., vegetables and sausage.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with asparagus tips.